SHACKLES, Orgy of Corpses (2005, Beer In Your Ear)
A skull with a toupée! Brilliant! Although his flesh is long since decayed, this guy’s polyester rug remains, and he’s become a hopping vermicular hangout. The only orgy happening here strictly involves hot worm-on-worm action, and look at those little nas-tay nematodes go! So many Big Dumb Skulls dwell to excess on the maudlin, but here’s a celebration of life and good times, if only for the wrigglier of God’s creations. Good on Shackles for believing the skull’s half-full.
With a cover and logo like this, you can be pretty sure that Shackles are gonna play throwback death/thrash, and sure enough, that’s what they do. You know all the usual influences, we’ve listed them here for dozens of other skulls, but since Shackles is Australian, we can throw in Armoured Angel, Slaughter Lord, and Destroyer 666. This is just a shitty rehearsal demo, so if you want to check out Shackles, you’re going to want to look to either their studio demo or debut album. Neither is what I would call “polished” but they’re listenably produced and the latter even includes a few unexpected flourishes, like the church organ in “Orgy of Corpses.” For black and white retro death, I prefer Bones from the US, but Shackles are perfectly fine for when you’re feeling ’86. Were perfectly fine, I should say. They released that one album in 2009 and then broke up. You can’t keep a good band down, I guess.
— Friar Johnsen